ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County said it is seeing a spike in COVID-19 in the wastewater in the city of Albany. The county department of health said the intensity of COVID-19 in the waste water is up 32 percent over the past two weeks.

The sample from the Albany County Water Purification District’s South Plant was analyzed on April 4. The south plant serves an estimated 80,922 residents.

County officials said measuring COVID levels in wastewater is a leading indicator of the coronavirus infection rate and a more accurate estimation since it does not rely on people to get tested. A spike in COVID intensity will likely mean a corresponding spike in COVID case counts and percent positivity in the near future.

Officials said the sample is only representative of a portion of city residents and not the entire county.